If you are a renter, it is important to be aware of your rights where property maintenance is concerned. It is very possible for you or your family to suffer injury or illness due to poorly-maintained property. Getting sick or being hurt in certain common areas of your landlord’s property may necessitate legal action against said landlord. According to Findlaw, your landlord is legally responsible for maintaining the common areas of the rental property and legally required to let the tenants know about any dangers the landlord is aware of.
Can I sue my landlord?
Negligence cases like this hinge on whether or not your particular injury or illness is deemed to be the fault of the landlord through general inaction. It also depends on the timing. So if there is badly damaged sidewalk in front of the rental property the landlord is responsible for fixing it, but if a tenant injures himself or herself on the broken sidewalk the first day that the cracks appear, that’s not necessarily grounds for negligence. Fixing a broken sidewalk is going to take longer than a day.
However, if the sidewalk has been broken for months on end with no action on the landlord’s part to replace it and somebody gets injured, there is a possibility that the landlord could be sued for negligence.
It is important to keep in mind that landlords are generally not responsible for damage within the unit itself. So if you slip and fall on your child’s toys, the landlord is not responsible for that.
What sorts of damages would I get?
Depending on the situation involved, tenants may be entitled to the cost of medical bills, emotional distress, lost earnings, disability, or just pain and suffering.